National Safety Stand Down – Skylights on the Roof Skylights are an often overlooked hazard on roofs.  Many times roofers, building maintenance personnel and others who access the roof only relate to a leading edge as a Fall Hazard. The leading edge on a roof changes locations as the additional roof sections are placed, formed or constructed. But each year, there are numerous falls through unprotected skylights.

When discussing roof safety for everyone accessing the roof, all hazards should be addressed. Roof falls through skylights are preventable.

The first step in roof safety is to identify if there are skylights on the roof.  Flush mount skylights may be improperly covered or not covered at all. The skylights may have a coating or spray foam application over the top making them difficult to identify on the roof.  Domed skylights may have internal cages that do not meet applicable standards or have the capability to support twice the expected weight load.  A thorough inspection by a trained professional of the skylights and the roof will help identify these areas of concern.  If you are unsure or unable to fully inspect these areas, the roof should always be treated as a fall hazard.

There are multiple options available to building owners to eliminate these skylight hazards, protect employees and comply with OSHA regulations.  There is a solution for each building’s specific needs: installing a permanent skylight screen or cage, guardrail system or warning line system. These are cost effective solutions for protecting and eliminating these skylight hazards.  Most important, it is the responsibility of building management and owners to comply with the safety solutions for skylight safety on the roof.

About National Safety Stand Down: The National Safety Stand Down is organized by the Department of Labor to prevent falls in construction. Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 370 of the 991 construction fatalities recorded in 2016 (BLS data).

Those deaths were preventable. The National Safety Stand Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries.

Blog contributed by Curtis Lambert, Skyline Safety Manager  

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